Graham Parker has always been one of my favorite songwriters. I think a lot of people have forgotten about him, if they ever even heard of him. His 1979 album “Squeezing Out Sparks” is the one that people remember the best. It had some great songs like “Local Girls”, “Discovering Japan” and the very poignant “You Can’t Be Too Strong”. He had a couple of AOR hits in the ’80’s with “Endless Night” and one of my personal favorite songs “Get Started, Start A Fire”. But he faded out of the mainstream in the ’90’s and like so many great rock and roll artists, doesn’t get much attention anymore.
But I never forgot Graham, and would keep up with his new releases – even his country album, “Your Country”. His songwriting got even better and his style never changed. I hear he lives in upstate NY and I know he tours the East Coast on a fairly regular basis, but doesn’t make it out West too often.
So when I saw he was playing the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley last month, I made it a point to not miss that show. Just Graham solo with his guitar, fresh from playing two shows in one night at McCabe’s in Santa Monica.
It had been raining a lot that week, so he probably chose to open with “If It Ever Stops Rainin'” from his “Deepcut to Nowhere” album because of that. He played a wide selection of his catalog that night, but that opening song, particularly its chorus, stuck in my head, and I have been listening to it constantly since then.
“And if it ever stops rainin’
If the sun ever breaks through and shines down from on high
I’ll do all those things I keep complainin’ that I’m not doin’
And I’ll put my arms around you under the blue blue sky
Blue blue sky.”
- Graham Parker
I searched YouTube for a video of this song, but could only find a so-so quality live version, so I went ahead and posted this hoping more people would find it and be exposed to the great, wonderful songwriter Graham Parker.